Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Books I Read in January

Last year I didn't count any of the books I read for school as part of my total for books read every month. This was because I mostly had poetry courses, or was assigned more obscure academic stuff. But this year I'm taking a course on the early Twentieth Century American novel, and while this is nowhere close to my favorite era/author nationality for novels (I prefer the British, always and forever), I'm still going to include most of these books here because honestly, I have or could have read any of these for pleasure anyway. And maybe someone out there cares about my opinion of the books during this golden age of American literary production (doubtful).

Moving forward. Only three books this month. Not a great showing. Apparently I can only finish a book if it's assigned reading.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This one was a reread, and Ms. Austen's brilliance continues to hold up. What a remarkable woman. If you haven't read this one yet, WHY NOT? Male or female, your literary life will never be complete until you do. Fix it immediately.

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

This was the first novel we had to read for class. I'd heard of Lewis before, but I'd never heard of Babbitt. I'm not sure I recommend this one unless you are terribly interested in the conflicted feelings around the rise of the American business man. Honestly, this book felt very similar to Gatsby for me, only it's about the upper middle class instead of the upper upper class. Lots of the meaninglessness of our modern society. A bit depressing and full of annoying 1920s slang. Also, Lewis hated conservatives. Still, it was an interesting read.

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather

The only other Cather book I've ever read is My Antonia, and I did not care for it much. Maybe it's because I'm older or in a different place in life, but I actually found this book quite good. It's a short read, and still a bit depressing (it is about a "lost lady" after all), but I was able to appreciate what Cather was saying much more this time around. I think this one should be talked about/read more.